Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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“Firehouse Visits -- Only Ten Days Left!”
by Tom Goodman
August 31, 2005

Based on the number of Bibles that you picked up, Austin-area firehouses will receive about 150 visits from Hillcrest families before 9/11.  Lois Fullerton wrote, “It was such fun to visit the fire department and invite them to our service on 9/11.  Randalls had Blue Bell pints for a dollar.  I took 10 different flavors.”

I want you to write me about your experience, too!  Remember, by the time you get this newsletter you’ll only have ten days left to make your firehouse visit!  If you haven’t picked up a special-edition New Testament for your visit, call the church office and we’ll put you on the waiting list for more.  (Yes, we’ve run out of Bibles again and had to place a third order!  You guys have really jumped into this challenge!)

Here’s the challenge:  Find the firehouse in your neighborhood, gather up your family, and stop by.  Bring a container of Blue Bell for their freezer, and bring an “Answer the Call” New Testament for their library.  This special edition has been designed to catch the interest of firefighters.  Thank the men and women for what they do, and invite them to our special worship service on Sunday, 9/11.  We want to honor Austin’s firefighters on that solemn day.

Let’s pack out the place on September 11 to honor these men and women!  As you arrive, you’ll see an engine from our local Station 23 parked at the front porch.  During the 9:30 a.m. “G-Force” (Sunday School for kids in grades 1-4), our own firefighter, Lieutenant David Smith, will talk about fire safety, he’ll share about his relationship to Christ, and he’ll have some firefighter gear for the kids to try on.  Bring your camera.  Then, during the 10:45 a.m. service, the Honor Guard from the Austin Fire Department will present colors, a real bagpiper will be on hand to play “Amazing Grace,” and we’ll read letters that Mayor Will Wynn and Fire Chief Jim Evans have written to Hillcrest.  The fire department chaplain (and Baptist pastor) Fred Daughtry will bring a greeting to Hillcrest and to the firefighters in attendance.

As you can see, it’s going to be quite a day.  Let me stress, though, that we’re honoring our firefighters with two things: your visit and our worship service.  Don’t let one happen without the other!  As you visit the stations, let the firefighters know what we’ll be doing at Hillcrest on 9/11, and invite them and their families to this special day.

Master and Commander.  Thanks for the comments about last Sunday’s message.  I’m glad the illustrations from Toy Story strengthened your understanding of what 1 Peter 2:9-10 says about our identity in Christ!  This week we’re going to see what the Old Testament warrior, Caleb, can teach us about when to take a risk.  We’ll illustrate the biblical points with the fictional warrior, Jack Aubrey, played by Russell Crowe in Master and Commander.

A Sermon on the Amount.  It took us a year to get it in place, but response our new weekly schedule has been amazing!  Just among the adult attendance, we have about 50 more coming on Sunday night, and about 100 more coming on Wednesday night.  Even more significant is the impact these activities will have on us and on those we bring!  Join us at 5:30 on Sundays and 6:30 on Wednesdays!

Mission Opportunities.  Be watching the bulletin for an occasional item called “Snapshots of Service.”  From time to time we’ll feature ministry opportunities and reports.  We’ve already reported on “Caring Friends” (our homebound visitors), children’s choir, and our soup kitchen workers.  In the future, look for a report from the “Girls in Action” leaders about their “Christmas in August” project, and watch for another building trip to the Caribbean!

Online News.  I always like to read the newsletter articles from our other staff members, and I really liked BJ’s article this week.  You can read it at  If you haven’t clicked through the pages of our website ( recently, check it out!  It’s updated weekly by our webservant, Paul Waldo.  Thanks, Paul!

Toward a Growing Marriage with Gary Chapman.  September 19th, Gary Chapman is coming to Austin and will be holding a marriage enrichment conference.  It will be at Hyde Park Baptist Church, and lunch will be provided for a minimum charge.  The cost is $40 per person but if you sign up with Hillcrest you can go for $32.  The charge for lunch is $6 per person, or you may bring your own lunch.  Contact Paul and Marina at for more information.  Diane and I hope to see you there!

Don’t miss what God is doing at Hillcrest!


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